Gov. Chris Christie Thursday criticized Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen) for criticizing him for using a State Police helicopter to fly from Trenton to Montvale Tuesday to watch his son Andrew play in a high school playoff baseball game. Vainieri Huttle charged the governor wasted taxpayers dollars flying to the game where he then stayed until the 5th inning before flying off to a political meeting in Princeton.
“She should really be embarrassed for what a jerk she is to say something like that,” Christie told reporters in Denville. “We stayed every minute we could, and we had people who flew from Iowa to come to have dinner with us.” The Iowans were Republicans who want the governor to seek the party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
"I'm disappointed that the governor resorted to name-calling but I'm not surprised given his pattern of abusive language towards those who disagree with him,” Vainieri Huttle said. “The public holds elected officials to a higher standard and this rhetoric doesn't warrant further response."
Assembly Majority Leader Joesph Cryan (D-Union) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), the state Democratic chairman, came to Vainieri Huttle’s defense.
"This governor needs to learn some decency,” Cryan said. “He instinctively resorts to insult when legitimately criticized. Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle is an effective and caring legislator who has called attention to the governor's abuse of taxpayer resources. Unfortunately, he is unable to discuss things like a grown up."
“Chris Christie has now taken his arrogance to the next level, first trying to claim he was assisting the police by helping them with training time, then attacking those who questioned his use of the state helicopter as ‘hacks’ and finally concluding that all his travel was professional because ‘the line is blurred,’" Wisniewski said. “The fact is, it’s the governor himself who has blurred the line and today admitted that he used taxpayer resources to attend personal and political events. The bottom line is, people realize that this is an inappropriate use of public property and the governor has finally acknowledged his guilt by agreeing to pay for his inappropriate use of state taxpayer resources.”